Shopping For Valentine’s Day Flowers, Chatting With A Fellow Shopper

Feeling the blues? Click on image above to go elsewhere to see and hear Little Milton & Bonnie Raitt sing Grits Ain’t Groceries.

A glimpse into my daily life demonstrating that random people talk to me– sometimes making me laugh out loud and to myself.

I’m in the floral department of the grocery store on Wednesday, late afternoon.

I’m shopping for a bouquet of flowers as one does when Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

A random person, Observant Dude, a 40-something man walks into the floral department where I’m pushing my cart.  He looks at the displays and spies something I hadn’t noticed, being focused as I was on the price of mixed flower bouquets more than anything else.

Observant Dude stops in his tracks, looks amazed, then forsaking all other shoppers in the floral department he says to me: There’s cabbage in the floral department. Cabbage doesn’t belong with the flowers.

I look across the way to where he is pointing and see, nestled amongst the red roses, what appears to be bouquets of purple cabbage leaves wrapped in brown paper in a cone shape.

I start smiling because Observant Dude is correct. It looks like there’s cabbage in the Valentine’s Day flower display in the floral department in the grocery store.

Kind of quirky, but fun. On the surface of it.

• • •

At which point Observant Dude looks at me, totally baffled, and says in the most earnest voice I’ve heard in years: Who would get their loved ones a bouquet of cabbage? That wouldn’t be right.

I started laughing at Observant Dude’s sincere observation because you have to admit he had an excellent point.  Unless you’re a rabbit, bouquets of cabbage don’t generally express everlasting love.

True dat.

But here’s the thing, the kicker: what Observant Dude was looking at wasn’t cabbage at all.  Nope, it was a bouquet of hydrangeas, dark purple ones that he’d mistaken for cabbage, and while I could see what they really were, I didn’t feel it was my place to correct him.

Having just met and all.

So I nodded my head at Observant Dude and went on my way, smiling, because when you get down to it, who doesn’t like to hear an unsolicited heart-felt Valentine’s Day rant about something as mundane as cabbage, that wasn’t cabbage?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, KIDS

~ ~ ❤️ ~ ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

138 thoughts on “Shopping For Valentine’s Day Flowers, Chatting With A Fellow Shopper”

  1. My first thought was someone ditched the cabbage in the floral department. I once found a head of lettuce with the pantyhose…at Walmart, of course. You buy flower? I’m impressed…I’m too cheap. 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll be spending the day with my mother, so it will be a special day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jill, lettuce with the pantyhose would really stand out and be memorable. Yes, I buy bouquets of flowers in the dark winter months to add a bit of cheer to the house. And this year the bouquets for Valentine’s Day were exceptionally pretty– and free from cabbage. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like you need to create an Observant Dude Twitter account now. OMG THAT WOULD BE HYSTERICAL.
    Can I submit for it?? WE COULD BE FAMOUS!
    Or are you already famous? You did get 10 comments on your blog before 7 am central time, so in my world. you ARE famous.

    FOCUS, KARI.

    Is it a Midwest thing with cabbage in the summer though? I have seen cabbage planted in gardens as decorative and not for consuming. Is that an everywhere thing?

    I am sorry. I just had a massive tumbler of coffee. I will excuse myself.

    Happy Valentines! I am so glad I found your blog this month. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Writer McWriterson, you’ve got an idea there with the Twitter account, but I’m lackadaisical about ye olde Twitter so I suspect Observant Dude would languish.

      I think you’re right that those ornamental cabbages are kind of a midwest thing. I’ve never grown any, but they look pretty. Maybe that’s why Observant Dude thought the hydrangeas were cabbage? I dunno, but he made me smile.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. shoreacres, I think you may be right as to why Observant Dude thought the hydrangeas were cabbage. The ornamental cabbages are pretty in gardens, but I’ve never grown any. Maybe this guy grows them in the summer. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gotta love the earnestness of Observant Dude, but really… closer inspection should have tipped him off to the fact that the purple mass was anything but cabbage, even if he was clueless on the species of flower. Maybe he just needs to get into the grocery store more often, especially the produce aisle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, that’s a good observation. I don’t know if Observant Dude was a grocery store newbie, or just another confused middle age man. He made me smile, seemed sincere, but also reminded me that people talk to me, an introvert. It’s the darnedest thing. There were other shoppers, why me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to have allergies to specific types of cat fur. Those cats always headed directly for my lap.
        A vibe, an unseen aura…who knows Ally Bean but I think your magnetism is surely out of your control 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s funny, and yet…it’s so typically male to assume expert status on flowers and sound off to an audience on a perceived mistake rather than, I dunno, asking staff or doing some research. Or to just walk on by, realizing that 1) you don’t know everything about flowers and 2) the world doesn’t need your opinion on everything.

    Can you tell I’ve maybe spent too much time on Twitter watching men who watched a single documentary tell female anthropologists/ astronomers with PhDs they’re wrong?

    Clearly I need to get out more. Although maybe not to the floral department.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AutumnAshbough, you’ve made me smile here. The world doesn’t need to know every man’s opinion on everything?!! Are you sure? Because honestly it does seem that way some days, especially on Twitter.

      I don’t know why this guy chose to talk with me, but it happens often that a stranger starts a conversation with me. I’m an introvert, so maybe I put out a vibe of being a safe place to share thoughts? Of being nonjudgmental? Of being aware? I dunno, at least Observant Dude was polite and made me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, 1) I’ve never tried to grow ornamental cabbages so I cannot say for sure if rabbits eat it, but my guess would be they’d like it. 2) I like coleslaw and now that you mention it, I could do with some for lunch.

      I don’t know what Observant Dude decided to buy, but I’m hoping it conveyed the message he wanted it to tell his loved ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, mon petit chou. I thought perhaps they were cabbage roses. Not that those look that much like cabbage but then, neither do hydrangeas. His part of the dialog makes him sound, oh twenty years younger. Is pot legal out there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, pot isn’t legal here, but middle age males have, in my experience, been known to be clueless about many things. At least Observant Dude was trying to find some flowers that he thought conveyed love, so I’ll give him that. Plus he made me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Decorative cabbage is just as pretty as any rose you’ll find, maybe even better because it’s bigger and lasts longer. I had them in bouquets in my house on summer and thoroughly enjoyed them. I would have told the man he wasn’t looking at cabbage, though. The x-florist wouldn’t not been able to resist the little teaching moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean, I’ve never grown decorative cabbages in the garden nor had them inside the house in bouquets, but they’re darned pretty. However that’s not what Observant Dude was looking at. He was eyeing the hydrangeas. But you’re right I did miss a teaching moment there, by not wanting to keep the conversation going.

      Like

    1. Kate, yes he’d have made a florist’s day. He made mine, in a different sort of way. I mean the whole question of who’d give their loved ones a bouquet of cabbages is a question that’ll I’ll remember on Valentine’s Day for years to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It must be your kind eyes and your smiling face, Ally, that leads people to speak to you randomly. I think I would have known hydrangeas from cabbages but on the other hand, I found a flower at Safeway the other day that had been dyed rainbow colors so you never know what kind of mischief those floral people will get into. I posted the picture of the flower on Instagram if you wanna see it. It was very interesting. Happy Valentine’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the look of a decorative cabbage and am never unhappy to find them in a mixed bouquet. I’m not so sure about the smell … they can get a bit – well – cabbagey 😉 Like you, I shop for flowers for myself as I like how they cheer up the place – my office mainly. For some reason, my current selection is white flowers – two types, both white, each type purchased separately – but am surprised at myself, as I usually go for something a bit brighter to cheer up grey rainy days.

    Your tale of Observant Dude made me smile too. In a good way. Not like a recent tweet containing extracts from a male author’s book, where he describes a female character, at some length, entirely by her breasts … and whether he believed their size would be typical be she Asian, black or white. The reactions and put-downs were funny, but him … not so much. People eh?

    Oh & Happy Gal/Pal/Valentine Day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I have nothing against decorative cabbage and would be happy to see it in a bouquet, however Observant Dude wasn’t looking at cabbage. And the fact that he saw something that seemed out of place to him, but misidentified it, kind of endeared him to me.

      Your all white bouquets sound sophisticated and inspire me to do that. I usually go for bright colors because I’m trying to offset the gray outside by plopping a vase of flowers somewhere in the house. White would achieve that too.

      The male author who got taken down a notch on twitter sounds like he deserved it. Men like that don’t do any favors to their gender when the describe women in an objectified way. Not cool, guy.

      Like

  9. That perfectly hilarious story made my day Ms. Ally Bean! And bonus points for the fine music suggestion. However, I do think Observant Dude might have made the right choice in not purchasing the faux cabbage hydrangea. According to some floriography (language of flowers) sources, hydrangea stands for heartlessness. Not the best choice for one’s Valentine I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, I’m glad you got a laugh out of the story. Like most things I write about here, they just happen to me out of the blue.

      I didn’t know the meaning of hydrangeas and you’re right that NOT putting them in a Valentine’s Day bouquet is the way to go. Although I doubt that Observant Dude is clued into flower meanings so he accidentally didn’t say the wrong thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Now I’m trying to imagine hydrangeas looking like cabbage? At Pike Place Market in Seattle (and I’m sure many other places), there are bouquets of a variety of cabbage or kale that look like multi-colored roses. They are gorgeous and I would be happy to get one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, from slightly afar, if you’re not into flowers, the dark purple hydrangeas looked like the edible cabbage a few rows over. That’s what confused Observant Dude. I’ve never seen bouquets of decorative cabbages that were small enough to look like roses. Interesting.

      Like

    1. Deb, I don’t know about that. If that is so then giving a bouquet of cabbages would be appropriate, a loving gesture. But Observant Dude didn’t seem to me, in our brief time together, to be of French origin. And his dismay over seeing what he thought were cabbages with the roses suggests that he didn’t consider cabbages to be the correct way of conveying love. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, I’ve no idea if Observant Dude will figure it out, but he seemed sincere in his quest for an appropriate bouquet to give his loved ones. I liked him, confused but trying.

      Like

  11. Hi, Ally – I think that I got something different from this post than some of your other commenters. What I go was: Wow! Strangers easily come up and talk to Ally in stores and such. Seems to happen quite often! 😀
    Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Donna, that happens to me often. It always has. I don’t know why random people talk to me but they do. I don’t hate it, but it takes me by surprise most of the time. Apparently I look approachable and/or benign and/or knowledgeable. I dunno, it’s a thing though. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.

      Like

  12. If I may join the cabbage discussion – I used to follow a blogger called
    Chomeuse with a Chou – Unemployed with a cabbage: tales of family life in France, so I believe cabbage (ie un petit chou/small child) is a term of endearment in France. She was such an excellent writer, but hasn’t blogged in over a year because she had a second petit chou/cabbage. It did occur to me while reading that maybe Observant Dude was trying to pick you up!? Isn’t’ that how Meg Ryan met her Boring Fiance in Sleepless in Seattle – some mix up over a tomato and mayo sandwich on white. Maybe we’ll see you at next years Oscars!

    Like

    1. Joni, I didn’t know about the French way of using the word cabbage when I wrote this post. Now that I do I can see how giving a bouquet of cabbage would be a clever thing to do. If nothing else about blogging, I learn things and I love learning things especially when it comes to words. Thanks for explaining that to me. It never ever occurred to me that Observant Dude was trying to pick me up. My mind doesn’t go that way, but the conversation would be a good one for a movie script. Authentic and charming.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda, I didn’t think it was my place to tell him he was wrong. If he’s meant to know that his cabbage was hydrangeas, then someone else can explain. I just smiled and moved on. Oh my, about the bouquet of ribs. I’m sure there’s a demand for such a thing and you’re right that a side of slaw would taste good with them. Maybe served on a table with a vase filled with hydrangeas sitting on it? 😋

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it wasn’t your place Ally – better to just smile sometimes. I had to share the rib bouquet as it went perfectly with your post. Luckily the news station I follow on Twitter had posted the story earlier in the day, so I could send you the link. Sounds like a perfect evening … bet they expand it to more than one day a year in 2021. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, and earlier this year I heard that 2020 was a big year for holidays/special events since several would be on a Friday in 2020, especially Valentine’s Day since many folks are off this Monday too. I think it will take off like White Castle Hamburgers where someone got the idea about a decade ago to serve sliders and fries while the lights were dimmed by candlelight.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, having Christmas or 4th of July in the middle of the week is not great – 4th of July is on a Saturday this year so Friday will be a holiday for most people, making a three-day weekend. We need more long holidays in my opinion, especially in the Summer. Canada has the Civic Day Holiday, first Monday in August, which would be a nice break to have between 4th of July and Labor Day.

                Like

                    1. Gee thanks Ally. I’ve been off the grid all day and had the news on and heard a story that our Michigan Secretary of State (Jocelyn Benson) wants employers to make a paid holiday this year for Election Day. I thought “no way” – besides, it is my understanding everyone is allowed to vote absentee ballot now, without offering an excuse (I think that’s the general election and not just the primary). So then our SOS decided to kick it up a notch and suggested that May, August and November elections should be a paid time off day so workers could vote and help in polling places. I see that idea going nowhere. She’s only been in office one year but she’s a go-getter.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I agree Ally. I don’t think the nation’s employers are quite that progressive about allowing paid time off, no matter how honorable the reason is. When I began working in an office in 1978, it was mandatory that employers allow a three-hour break on Good Friday at mid-day for employees to go to church services. Somehow over the years that little nicety was eliminated in many office environments. At one time we had a half-day off, then after the merger, there were zero hours off. In my blog, I often touch on life in Canada, but abide by the expression “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” – I’ve always hated when people talk about their homeland being better, when living in another country, but in Canada there is a four-day holiday at Easter: Good Friday and Easter Monday. I never thought to mention that the other day when I mentioned Civic Day. The best place to live is in Europe, with many days off. Well I am not off today unfortunately – hope you are. Have a good work day Ally.

                      Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, I hope you found just the right bouquet to brighten your Valentine household, even if it didn’t have cabbage – or hydrangeas. I also like to occasionally pick some up for the same reason.

    Like

    1. Eilene, I found a lovely bouquet of flowers in shades of dark pink and purple and white that included carnations and mums and daisies. I put the flowers in a mason jar and plopped it on the kitchen table. It’s charming and low-key, the way I like decorating to be. Hope your Valentine’s Day was a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m wondering if Observant Dude landed on a new offering: bouquet personalization! Rose bouquets are so… impersonal. If someone likes cabbage, they get a cabbage bouquet! You’d get an apricot and orange one, and I’d get a brownie one 🙂 So much more personal! 💐 🥬 🍊

    Like

  15. Such fun to talk to strangers while shopping!

    My daughter has a dark purple/blue hydrangea bush in her yard. It’s gorgeous.

    Today after my critique group meeting I stopped by the chocolate shop (very crowded) and bought a small glass of sippin’ chocolate for a Valentine’s treat. Yum!

    Like

    1. Nicole, I like seeing hydrangea bushes in someone’s yard. The dark blue ones look amazing, such an unusual flower color for around here. Your sipping chocolate treat sounds lovely. I can imagine how crowded it was in a chocolate shop on Valentine’s Day. Good of you to buck up and go in anyway. 😉

      Like

    1. Pam, I tell you Observant Dude tickled my funny bone with his sincerity and confusion about flowers, cabbages, and what to give his loved ones. [His phrase.] Our Valentine’s Day was perfectly mellow and loving. Hoping you had a good one as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian, I’m so glad you like Grits Ain’t Groceries. Z-D quotes it [attempts to sing it] to me every so often. It’s a good old blues tune. And yes, Observant Dude was trying to do the right thing, but he couldn’t see the flowers for the veggies. So funny in a quiet way.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well done in choosing peace whenever possible. While I support ornamental cabbage displays throughout winter, I do not find them suitable for Valentine’s Day gifting, either. And that’s even when they really are cabbage 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, it was a goofy conversation that came at me from nowhere, but made me laugh. Observant Dude had a good point about not giving bouquets of cabbage, but he was so earnest about it. And he wasn’t looking at cabbages, but *hey* not that important, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The poor hydrangea! What an insult! I’m partial to pussy willows which many people consider to be weeds. They’re not but they last a long time. The observant guys who talk to me in the grocery store are pushing walkers and looking for the gin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, I like pussy willows and didn’t know they were considered to be weeds by some [small-minded] people. Love the image of old guys with walkers looking for gin. Seems classic movie– perhaps you’re the star of their day.

      Like

  18. At least the observant dude was getting his loved ones flowers, and was trying his best to get something he thought she would like. She may have like hydrangea or cabbage arrangements – but she obviously was going to get a more traditional one that seemed appropriate to him.

    Like

    1. Sheryl, you’re right about how Observant Dude was trying his best. He seemed like the proverbial fish out of water. There were about 100 bouquets of roses right in front of him so I hope he grabbed one of those and pushed his cabbage worries to the back of his mind.

      Like

  19. My house bun would very much like a cabbage bouquet for Valentine’s Day… or anytime, really. But more than that, he’d love a parsley bouquet. I just got him one the other day. What’s that? The recipe calls for either chives or parsley for the garnish? Parsley it is. Three sprigs to chop up and put on the food, and the remainder of the “bouquet” is a gift for my bun. I’m now his hero.

    Funny story, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Travel Architect, oh I love the image of a bouquet of parsley. It’s so pretty and green– and good for both you and your bunny. I bet bun thinks you’re the best bunny mom ever. No higher praise there can be!

      Like

      1. Me too – the last time I got one was when I won an award at work for taking time out of my day to walk a certain # of miles/month on my breaks. I thought it was wise to chose fruit over a plant that might not survive my windowless office. And, I shared the fruit with my staff. We all benefited from my exercising I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, that’s funny. Those two words are not at all similar in meaning, but do sound alike– sort of. From afar the dark purple hydrangeas did sort of look like cabbage. I realized what Observant Dude was on about, but I left him to figure it out on his own. It was a learning experience for him, I do hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Ally, you have to feel for him and his obvious confusion and consternation at the strange display of ‘cabbages’! 😀 I reacted similarly once in a flower shop when faced with cabbage-like flowers and I honestly thought somebody had left their food shopping in the midst of a pretty display! You were sweet to not correct him – and I bet he bought a beautiful bunch of flowers, anything but the hydrangea! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 🌺🌼💐

    Like

    1. Annika, how funny that you had a similar experience mistaking food for flowers like what Observant Dude thought was going on. The short conversation took me by surprise and I was on my way before he bought some flowers. Like you, I’m betting that they weren’t hydrangeas.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Too funny. I thought maybe it was a planting with an ornamental cabbage which would have been strange in February also. 🙂 I was buying material this morning, and I struck up a conversation with two other ladies about cutting blades. We had a nice chat, and I learned a couple of things. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I thought you might like this story! Nice man with his heart in the right place, but confused about flowers. I’m always amazed when people talk to me, an introvert, out of the blue, but I agree that I learn things because of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Ally, I did click on image since I was curious about the singing. We have tickets to see James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt in April. I looked up her age. She is amazing. 70 years old. I was immediately curious about the cabbage thing figuring it was some sort of flower/plant. Now that I think about it, my husband (also a dude) would be thrilled to get a vegetable plant for a Valentine’s gift. Maybe next year. Hmmmm, or Father’s Day and his Birthday. Fun story. Hope you have Valentine’s Day every day of the year.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica/Erika, Bonnie Raitt is 70 years old?!! Oh say it is not so. I suddenly feel ancient. We saw JT in concert years ago and he was extremely personable. Together I’d think they’d be great.

      By all means give your husband a vegetable plant as a gift. Somehow that sounds like the perfect mix of silly and practical. *tee-hee*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Neil, I haven’t bought flowers in a florist shop in decades. I don’t know where one is, in fact. Kroger has a great selection of flowers so that’s where I go. No guilt about it. [I once heard that Kroger is the largest florist in the USA, but I don’t know if that’s fact or fiction.]

      Liked by 1 person

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